While Kanye West's public presence has been more outspoken than ever, whatever is going on in Yeezy's head is still as enigmatic as its always been. But one person with some insight into Kanye's thought process is the self-proclaimed "king of the youth" Ian Connor, who has been seen out and about with West on the lead-up to February 11's Madison Square Garden Yeezy Season 3/Waves (or whatever it's called, who knows anymore?) extravaganza. In a recent interview with Billboard, Connor breaks down everything from collaborating on Yeezy Season 3, to explaining exactly what the hell was happening when Ye announced his love for Wiz Khalifa's cool pants.
As Connor tells it, he had returned from Paris when the feud between West and Wiz went down. While Connor has a history with Wiz—notably working as his stylist—he says he's firmly in Kanye's camp now, as a creative consultant. Maybe that's why Kylie Jenner was styled by Ian Connor in contemporary cool kid labels like Supreme and Gosha Rubchinskiy.
But, back to Wiz's cool pants for a second. As the feud was breaking down, it seemed natural that he'd be caught between his former and current creative partner. However, as Connor explains it, that definitely wasn't the case.
"I think it seemed like I was in the middle of it, but in actuality I wasn’t. It wasn’t like I was feeding [Kanye] words like, 'Yo, say this, say that.' It’s shit that I would have said. You have to understand, me working for Kanye is like working for myself in the future. That’s the way I look at it. Everything he said, I would have said. So maybe that’s why it came across like I was telling Kanye what to say. Great minds think alike, I should say."
At the end of the day, the whole beef was about paying respect to Connor's styling abilities it seems. As Connor tells it, "I guess [Kanye] was saying that to cosign my styling creds. [Kanye] can say anything he wants negative against [Wiz] but he can’t really talk down on the style that I gave Wiz. #Wizcoolpants was [Kanye] being like, 'Yo, I love his style,' therefore he loves my style—which is Wiz’s style."
Connor may have the pedigree to prove his styling credentials, but even with his brash persona, he isn't trying to come across as a know-it-all. While he credits his advanced taste for grabbing the attention of Kanye and often-cited "big brother" figure A$AP Rocky, he admits he still has plenty to learn from the pair's different-yet-influential personalities. "You have Rocky, who’s very political, but he’s still himself, and then you have Kanye and he’s just straight up and speaks his mind and he’s going to get across what he sees inside his mind." If you're looking to see this fusion in real time, let us direct you to Connor's Twitter feed.
Even though he's in the presence of some today's greatest men's style icons, he's still doing everything for the kids. "These celebrities, they’re already good. They’re standard for me," Connor explains. " I’m moreso for the kids, because they’re the ones that are going to influence the future more than anything. That’s on my behalf. I can’t speak for anyone else."